The adoption process can be very challenging. The value of adoption in family formation combined with its uncertainty creates a dynamic unlike any other area of law. Birth parents have consent revocation periods – in North Carolina usually seven (7) days. The adoptive parents are normally thrilled with the prospect of parenthood while a biological mother may be experiencing grief and loss even if she knows that placement is in the best interest of her child. Additionally, medical risk and legal risk, such as the rights of the father, may exist. Guidance from knowledgeable and experienced counsel is important in such delicate cases.Agency Adoption
In agency adoption, a child is placed through an agency with the adopting family. An agency is an entity that is licensed to place minors for adoption. N.C.G.S. § 48-1-101(4). A county Department of Social Services is a public agency.
An agency adoption can be either open (identity of the parties disclosed) or closed. As Charlotte adoption attorneys, Thurman, Wilson, Boutwell & Galvin P.A. is honored to serve as General Counsel for multiple North Carolina adoption agencies for many years.Contested Cases
Contested adoption cases are not any fun. Bonding with a child occurs quickly and when that bond is threatened due to legal risk, fear and emotion can be felt. Because Thurman, Wilson, Boutwell & Galvin P.A. has handled numerous contested cases, we know the risks, trauma, and expense which may arise.
Our firm takes every precaution to try to avoid contested litigation and we advise our clients accordingly. But sometimes adoption litigation is unavoidable. Many attorneys from all over North Carolina have referred contested cases to us to handle due to our expertise as a North Carolina adoption lawyer.
Thurman, Wilson, Boutwell & Galvin P.A. has handled appeals of adoption cases in the Court of Appeals and the Supreme Court of North Carolina.Interstate Compact
When a child is placed from one state to another, it is an Interstate adoption. With few exceptions, an Interstate adoption placement must comply with the Interstate Compact On the Placement of Children (ICPC). ICPC adoptions have more stringent requirements and are regulated in all 50 states by Regulation 12. Our law firm has completed interstate adoptions between North Carolina and almost every other state.Private Adoption
Private or independent adoption is permitted in North Carolina. Private placement involves placement of the adoptee directly from the placing parents to the adoptive parent(s). In a private placement, the identity of the adoptive parent must be disclosed to the placing parties and a copy of the adoptive parent’s preplacement assessment (home study) is required to be given to the placing party at or before the time the Consent to Adoption is executed.
Because an agency is not involved as an intermediary, your adoption attorney is the person that will guide you through the adoption process. It is important to hire an adoption lawyer who is experienced and who knows the process thoroughly. There are many traps and pitfalls that inexperienced counsel may miss.
Surrogacy involves the participation of a surrogate mother who agrees to carry the child through gestation. A surrogacy situation has the added element of an agreed placement arrangement before conception through a gestational surrogacy agreement (GSA). Assisted Reproductive Technology (ART) is typically used and may include artificial insemination or fertilized egg (embryo) implantation.Relative Adoption
Relative adoption is adoption by a close relative within a degree of kinship specified by statute. A preplacement assessment is not required when the adoptive parent is a grandparent, sibling, first cousin, aunt, uncle, great-aunt, great-uncle, or great-grandparent of the minor child. N.C.G.S. § 48-3-301(b).
Stepparent means an individual who is a spouse of a parent of a child, but who is not a legal parent of the child. N.C.G.S. § 48-1-101(18). In a stepparent adoption, the stepparent is the petitioner, whereas the parent of the child (stepparent’s spouse) consents to the adoption.
North Carolina also permits an adoption of an adult by another adult.
As a Charlotte adoption attorney, Thurman, Wilson, Boutwell & Galvin P.A. has provided representation in thousands of adoption cases of all types. In conjunction with these cases, we appear in adoption hearings, termination of parental rights (TPR) matters in juvenile court, and petitions for prebirth orders (PBO) in surrogacy matters.
For help with your adoption, contact us today. Thurman, Wilson, Boutwell & Galvin P.A. can help. Call us at (704) 377-4164 to speak with an adoption attorney who will listen to you.